Posts Tagged ‘WWE Smackdown Live’

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WWE’s lack of star power is a common criticism, and everyone has an opinion as to why the company don’t create headliners on the same level as John Cena, Hulk Hogan, and Steve Austin anymore, most of which stem from Vince McMahon and his creative team’s booking methods.

It’s interesting, then, that the Chairman’s own anxiety towards his promotion’s lack of top stars may have been one of the driving forces behind this week’s NXT call-ups.

This is according to Dave Meltzer on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio. He claims that McMahon feels his current crop of wrestlers “aren’t gonna be Superstars,” and that the Raw and SmackDown product has become stale, so he asked Triple H to send him four of developmental’s finest.

Thus, Johnny Gargano, Ricochet, Tommaso Ciampa, and Aleister Black were called up and immediately booked to go over a number of established stars. They were pushed strongly out of the gates, and this will likely continue over the coming weeks and months.

A fair appraisal from Vince, but odd, given that he is almost entirely responsible for creating these problems in the first place.

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The fact that Degeneration X is going into the WWE Hall of Fame certainly isn’t a surprise considering the mark they left on pro wrestling. But the fact that Chyna is included among the six members being inducted is a bit of a surprise given her contentious relations with WWE before her death.

Chyna stood out from the other women’s wrestlers or divas of her time, and that’s something that Paige can relate to. She has billed herself as the anti-diva and says that some of that motivation comes from the trail that Chyna blazed.

The Mirror caught up with Paige where they revealed to her that Chyna would be going into the Hall of Fame as a part of D-X’s enshrinement.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited,” said Paige. “I was always like the biggest fan of Chyna.

“My brother actually had the biggest crush on her when we were younger too – sorry he’s here right now standing next to me, ha ha. Yeah I was always a big fan of her work, she was one of the original anti-Diva looking girls.

“She was definitely different and I loved that about her. I just thought it’s about time really isn’t it, like she just deserves it.”

Paige’s own wrestling career lasted much shorter than she hoped for due to a neck injury, but she also has her sights set on being a Hall of Famer one day.

“It’s a pretty cool life that I’ve had so far, I’m very thankful for what I’ve done,” stated Paige. “But I mean, I just want to be in the Hall of Fame one day ha ha.

“Put me in the Hall of Fame. That’s something in your wrestling career you definitely need to tick off, it’s the biggest reward that you can get.”

Paige was the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion and a two-time Divas Champion, including the youngest ever winner. Though her in-ring career is over, at 26 she still has many years left in this industry as a manager, on-screen authority figure or any another role.

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Tuesday morning brought news that main roster newcomer Lacey Evans had been earmarked as a potential WrestleMania 35 opponent for SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka, prompting surprise around the fanbase, given her lack of tenure and seasoning.

Now, it looks like WWE’s plans for the recent call-up extend far beyond a single ‘Showcase Of The Immortals’ title match.

Per Dave Meltzer on a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, certain WWE officials see Evans as the women’s division’s answer to Roman Reigns, prompting talk of a monstrous long-term push. On top of this, they see her as the ideal candidate to take Ronda Rousey’s spot whenever she leaves, forming a new “big three” with Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.

This is quite insane. A green, inexperienced performer of only five years, Evans has potential, and her ‘Lady Of WWE’ gimmick is strong, but never stood out in NXT and flubbed her big Royal Rumble opportunity, botching a kip up during an early exchange with Natalya. That was her only main roster match to date, and she didn’t deliver.

Considering the likes of Asuka, Sasha Banks, and Bayley exist, this news won’t go down well. Turns out Vince McMahon still loves pushing blondes.

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Last night, Tye Dillinger revealed he asked for his release from WWE. Dillinger had been working on the SmackDown brand since 2017, however was never pushed heavily during that time.

It’s not yet known if WWE has officially given his release, but numerous WWE Superstars have been tweeting kind words to Dillinger since his announcement. One of those outside of WWE who sent Dillinger a message was AEWExecutive Vice President, Cody Rhodes.

“Fearless. I can’t wait to see what you do next,” Rhodes wrote. “I wish you all the happiness in the world old friend. Don’t settle.”

Going back to 2016, Cody Rhodes did an interview with Colt Cabana on The Art of Wrestling, after his own departure from WWE, where he spoke highly of Dillinger. The two trained together in OVW in 2006-2007.

“Greatest human being alive,” Rhodes said. “Still in developmental. He’s in developmental. I’m afraid of—all the time I want to tweet stuff about Tye Dillinger and I’m afraid if I do, someone will be like, because I’m not in the best graces with the office currently, I’m afraid someone will be like—because of my love of him.”

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Tye Dillinger has requested his release from WWE. Dillinger revealed on his Instagram that he asked for his release this evening.

“Before rumors being to spread, let me set things straight ahead of time,” Dillinger wrote. “This evening, I requested my release from WWE.

“In the past 5 and a half years with them, I have seen and done some wonderful things. Things that I am proud of and will never forget. I have met and worked with unquestionably, some of the greatest talent on this earth and the pleasure has been all mine.”

Dillinger noted that he felt the decision was best for himself and WWE, and that he wishes to grow as a performer.

“I feel at this time this decision, as extremely difficult as it was, is what is best for myself and WWE. I wish to continue to grow as a performer and offer those paying hard earned money to watch a show I’m performing on, a little more of myself.

“To the male and female locker rooms, coaches and producers, to the production/ring crew, all the way up to the very top of WWE and most of all the fans… l wish you all the very best and thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything.”

Dillinger did not specify if his release was granted, although it would appear to be the case with his post. We have reached out to WWE and will post any updates.

As noted, Dillinger turned 38 years old today. In an Instagram post earlier this afternoon, his longtime girlfriend Peyton Royce suggested that they were now engaged.

Dillinger had originally signed with WWE in 2006 and was trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling. He was released from his contract in January 2009. He re-signed with the company in 2013 and worked in NXT through 2017, before moving to the main roster on the SmackDown brand in April of that year. During that time, he was never really featured.

Dillinger was last seen on television in a match with then-United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura on an episode of SmackDown Live last September. He suffered a hand injury that required surgery the following month at a WWE live event in Macon, Georgia. He returned to action at live events earlier this month, however had not been used on television.

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Paige has been receiving some criticism for comments she made during a recent conference call regarding the current Women’s Revolution. While promoting the movie Fighting with My Family, which is based on her life, the former WWEDivas Champion claimed that before the Revolution started, the problem with the progress in women’s wrestling was that the fans were not taking them seriously.

“It was never WWE holding the women back,” Paige said, via Gulf News. “It was the fans not taking them seriously. They wanted to see more of the male characters many years ago. It was a male dominated sport.”

Since the Attitude Era started in the late 1990’s, WWE women’s matches were usually relegated to women being stripped down to as little clothing as possible. Bra and panties matches, which were a staple with the company for nearly a decade, ended in 2007 when WWE decided to move in a PG direction. From 2007 until the Women’s Revolution was officially coined in 2015, women’s matches would rarely be given any time, and were usually not in a prime spot on the show.

“When I first started (in 2014), there were only five women there,” Paige said. “It was a struggle but WWE just believed in us. When I got into the ring, I wanted to prove to the fans that girls were capable of having good matches and sometimes, even better. That was kind of my mission from the get go. Now there’s obviously a revolution.”

Paige clarified her remarks on Twitter, saying that the blame laid on both the fans and the company, saying that it was “a two way street.”

“Fans back then would call us toilet breaks. It was only when the girls, the female superstars took it upon themselves to change the way anyone perceived us. AJ (Lee), the Bellas, myself and the WWE four horsewomen all the superstars wanted to create that change,” Paige wrote. “In reality what I said was it’s not all on WWE. Up until a few years ago women didn’t have the support from a lot of people.”

When a user stated that a lot of fans supported the women back then, Paige replied, “Absolutely you guys did. We loved that. But riddle me this, what about when the bra and panties matches were happening? Or when Michelle McCool, Gail Kim etc were busting their asses why wasn’t there an uproar then? All I’m saying is.. it’s a two way street.”

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The Miz and wife Maryse announced at WWE Elimination Chamber pay-per-view that they are expecting their second child together.

The announcement was made before Miz and Shane McMahon dropped the SmackDown Tag Team Titles to The Usos. Miz had dedicated the match to his dad, his wife, his daughter Monroe Sky, and their unborn child.

Miz and Maryse welcomed their first child back in March of 2018 – a daughter named Monroe Sky. Maryse’s second pregnancy will likely be covered on the second season of Miz & Mrs., which premieres on the USA Network this spring. The second season will feature 14 episodes.